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Reunion Dinner in Boston or Cambridge

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Six of us will be meeting in Cambridge for our 25th college reunion and will be going out to dinner on Friday night. Most of the eateries we fondly remember from our halcyon days are gone (Harvard Square's Wursthaus and Ferdinand's were two) so I need some advice on where to go.

Looking for something in the North End, Cambridge, or Boston (Somerville's Davis Square would be OK as well) which is moderate to slightly upscale, with good food, and an atmosphere which would allow animated discussion and reminiscing among six people who haven't seen each other in a long time. Type of cuisine not critical; the important thing is ii is good and we can talk.

Greg

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  1. Copia has good food, a fine bar, and tables far enough apart to talk to each other and linger over drinks. Its in Charlestown, with a great view of the Zakim bridge, and valet parking. Gargoyles in Somerville might work and Rendezvous in Central Square. Chez Henri is always a good dinner in my book, and Elephant Walk in Cambridge is comfortable and good food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo

      I agree with the Gargoyles rec....moderate to slightly upscale, inventive good food, excellent bartending, and room between the tables. Ask for a corner table in the bar, as that room tends to be louder and would accommodate your reminiscing.

      1. re: teezeetoo

        Copia "Yes"
        Very nice experience at Copia in Charlestown last night. Needed a location that was easily accessible for a group of 4 guys coming from 4 opposite directions, Copia filled the bill perfectly. We arrived a little early for our 6:45 reservation and enjoyed a bottle of Kim Crawford savignon blanc at the bar. Very engaging, fun bartender who set the tone for a great reunion of old friends. We were seated on time in one of the new booths that line the back of the bar area that separates the bar from the dining room. The space between tables was great and the booth and chairs were very comfortable. The booth was in an optimal location to keep an eye on the Sox beating up on the Blue Jays and for people-watching. Service was perfect from start to finish, engaging but not obtrusive. Very fresh bread served with hummus and olive oil was served immediately. I enjoyed the razor clam appetizer special, the largest razor clams I'd ever seen, served with a tasty garlic sauce for dipping. The chef/owner Anthony came by and greeted our table(and several others) and comped us a mid-course of gnocci w/sausage and spinach sprinkled w/fresh cheese that was great(nice and light) and a pasta with red sauce which was very good. I had the swordfish steak entree that was very moist and flavorful. Two of my friends split an antipasto platter as an appetizer, the other also enjoyed the razor clams. For entrees one guy liked the swordfish as much as I did, one had the crispy pork(a little too rich, but good), and the other raved about the bouillabaisse. No room for dessert. 3 appetizers, 4 entrees, 2 bottles of KC savignon blanc for $206 before tip. Great service, very reasonable price-point for very good food, a touch of class by the owner, significant improvement over Mezze'. Like the Sox, it looks like Copia has hit their stride...

      2. Since you're staying in Cambridge I'm assuming you're looking for something convenient in Cambridge and near the T. Rendezvous in Central Square is a recent newcomer on the scene and comes highly recommended -- they have great food and a nice atmosphere for this kind of thing. If price is not an option you might want to consider the reincarnation of Rialto in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Sq. or Om (also in Harvard Square). Search the board for reviews of these spots.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sgt Snackers

          Also in Harvard Sq. is Harvest which would serve the purpose. For a slightly funkier spot down Mass Ave. is West Side Lounge altho mixed reviews on the food recently. Prezza would be great in the north end.

        2. Most of the places that have closed since you were in Cambridge are not missed -- at least by me. I miss the Tastee and Elsa's, but not much else! One place that has survived for all these years, with good reason, is Bartley's. We have heated discussions about the topic on this board, but it's still my favorite burger in Boston. That said, it's still as uncomfortable as ever, and they still serve no alcohol, so I can understand your rejecting it for those reasons.

          Another option might be East Coast Grill, which opened in Inman Square shortly after you graduated. Great, strongly flavored seafood and barbecue in a fun and lively environment. If you go, skip their desserts and go next door to Christina's for some of the best ice cream in the Boston area.

          1. Checkout EVOO also. They can certainly accomodate a party of six with room to spare. They have great tasting menu among other menu items.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sal Monella

              EVOO would be a great choice for Cambridge/Somerville. I think that East Coast Grill might be too loud and the OP's group might be too animated for Oleana, say. The bar at Gargoyles is a bit small for a party of 6. EVOO is just right in terms of noise level and size. Another good choice would be the Blue Room in Kendall. The West Side Lounge between Harvard and Porter might also be good although they sometimes pump the music volume up too loud. Finally, the best food might be at Oleana, and if you can snag a seat in the garden (no reservations, though), you can be as boisterous as you like.

              1. re: DavisSquare

                The bar at Gargoyles is a bit small for a party of 6.
                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                I've been part of parties of 6 and 8 in the bar, and haven't had a problem. They just rearrange some tables in the corner, pulling a couple together. Always plenty of room.